This dataset consists of palaeoecological measurements taken at sites in the Peak District and NW Sutherland during the NERC Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme. This data collection includes the results from four interlinked projects combining quantitative and qualitative evidence to assess long-term ecological data at local to national levels: Project 1 synthesises existing information on historical environmental changes in the uplands with relevance to current management and policy Project 2 used high resolution palaeoenvironmental analyses to reconstruct ecological changes and land-use histories of four contrasting moorland systems in the Peak District (England) over the last c.200-1300 yrs. Sites were selected in consultation with stakeholders and the results provide the basis for comparison with ecological survey results and knowledge of current managers. Project 3 used similar methods to reconstruct ecological and land-use changes in NW Sutherland (Scotland) over the last c.400 yrs. Site selection was based on discussion with stakeholders and results were compared with stakeholder knowledge and preferences for landscape change. Project 4 used three choice experiments to assess the response of different communities to long-term evidence as a potential source of information to inform preferences for upland management. Project 4a used a choice experiment to assess the influence of long-term evidence on management preferences of residents of the Peak District. Project 4b used choice experiments to present long-term evidence to ecologists from government, NGO, research and practitioner communities in conjunction with established sources of ecological evidence used in upland management (ecological monitoring and ecological research) and with stakeholder preferences for upland management, since this is increasingly becoming embedded in decision-making. The upland woods and peatlands were used as the contexts for two choice experiments. This dataset consists of palaeoecological measurements taken at sites in the Peak District and NW Sutherland, as part of projects 2 and 3 as listed above. The choice experiment data from this study are available at the UK Data Archive under study number 6791 (see online resources). Further documentation for this study may be found through the RELU Knowledge Portal and the project's ESRC funding award web page (see online resources).
Publication date: 2012-02-02